Stop Your Search Rankings From Treading Water

Stop Your Search Rankings From Treading Water

Potential clients are searching your product or service.

No longer are they doing that through a phone book.

They’re searching for you online and that’s what makes search engine optimization (SEO) so important.

One problem though.

SEO is hard to understand.

I’ve talked to a few business owners lately about SEO.

They’ve all told me that they don’t understand how it really works. This isn’t good since it’s such an important component to online marketing.

The time has come for me to educate and simplify search engine optimization.

I’ve already talked about the stepping stone to any SEO campaign, keyword research. Today I’m going to talk about the second step and why your SEO campaign might be treading water like our polar bear friend above. If you have a blog, this step will also keep people on your website longer and give them the information they’re after so read on!

How do you ensure your website is properly optimized to target the keywords you’ve researched?

There are four steps to optimize your website for maximum efficiency.

  1. Follow keyword density guidelines
  2. Ensure one or two keywords maximum are targeted per web page
  3. Insert your keywords into your web pages coding
  4. Submit your website to the search engines

What is Keyword Density?

A little over two years ago I embarked on my first internet marketing website. The topic was golf instruction. My friend taught me a little about SEO. But not enough as it turns out!

I did my keyword research and had picked out some juicy keywords. Now it was time to write some content around those keywords. I should have got more advice however.

After tracking my rankings for three months I was treading water. I had no idea why.

Sound familiar?

Turns out I was over using my keywords within my content. My keywords were mentioned at least once every 25 words.

This prompted me to do lots of research on what is known as keyword density. Keyword density is how often your keyword is used per webpage.

The hours I put in reading the thoughts of some highly regarded SEO professionals helped. My second golf site launched last year and I’ve seen major improvements in my SEO traffic.

So what is the ideal number of times a keyword should be mentioned on a webpage? Over the last two years I have read so many conflicting reports. I can only say what has worked well for my golf website.

But here is a video from Google on keyword density on a page.

Despite that video you should still follow the guidelines below.

  • Have your keyword in the page title
  • Use your keyword in the first sentence
  • Use the keyword in the last paragraph of the content
  • Sprinkle the keyword two or three times in between
  • Don’t use a keyword more than twice for every 100 words
  • Write your content so a human can read it

Targeting Keywords on a Page

On top of researching keywords, I also research what the competition is doing. One major faux pas I see is webpages trying to rank for too many keywords.

Let’s say you have your main domain http://yourdomain.com. You do your keyword research and find 15 keywords you want to target.

Instead of trying to target 15 keywords for one page, create 15 different pages for each keyword.

As an example of a mortgage broker trying to target the keywords “Victoria Mortgage Broker” and “Victoria Mortgage Specialist”, creating two separate web pages would be ideal.

The urls would then look like this:

http://mortgagebroker.com/victoria-mortgage-broker

http://mortgagebroker.com/victoria-mortgage-specialist

These pages then act as landing pages which is more beneficial.

Let me explain.

Let’s assume our mortgage broker is blogging for business and follows my advice from above. They’ve created two separate blog posts or web pages targeting those two keywords.

If you’re searching for a mortgage broker, you want mortgage information and news. When searching for the term (keyword) “Victoria Mortgage Broker” you decide to click on our mortgage broker’s website. Instead of landing on their main domain (http://mortgagebroker.com) you land on a blog post.

By landing on a blog post you’re met with lots of knowledge, information and latest mortgage updates. This allows you to trust the mortgage broker and their expertise because you can see that they know what they’re talking about.

This is also beneficial because you’ll also be able to view other blog posts. What this does is keep you on the site longer.

So instead of landing on the main domain of our broker where you’re met with the same old cookie cutter information, you land on a blog post with loads of information.

Generally we have 10 seconds to capture one’s attention when they land on our website. The odds they stick around much longer increase if a visitor lands on one of your blog posts targeting a keyword.

Insert keywords into website coding

This is the toughest part to understand when it comes to SEO. Coding is a tough language to learn. Adding keywords to your coding doesn’t require you to learn the coding itself however.

Putting keywords into your coding allows the search engine crawlers to identify which keywords you’re targeting. But these crawlers don’t see a website like we do. They see it through coding or html.

I use WordPress and they have special plugins that make adding keywords easy. I use the all in one SEO plugin.

Below is a screen shot showing where to enter page title, page description and keywords.

All In One SEO makes adding keywords super easy

You want to make sure that your keyword is used in your page title and description.

This is what it looks like in the search results. You can’t see the keywords but as long as you fill them in, it’s fine.

Google search result

I should also mention the importance of creating url’s off your main domain. In wordpress you can do that by editing the line below the post or page title. The url doesn’t have to be the same as the post or page title but it will default to it.

Google search result url

This is how our mortgage broker would add their keyword of “Victoria Mortgage Broker” onto their domain.

What if you’re not using WordPress? There a various html editors you can use or you can do it the old school way using notepad. Yeah, notepad, that seldom app you never use!

Regardless you’ll see coding and it looks really ugly. The meta tags are where you need to add your page title, page description and keywords you want to target.

This is the page title.

<title> Victoria Mortgage Broker </title>

This is the page description

<META name=description

content=”If you’re looking for a Victoria Mortgage Broker, you’ve come to right place. Come inside to see if you can lower your mortgage rate!”>

This is where our keywords go.

<META name=keywords

content=”Victoria Mortgage Broker”>

As you can see it’s easy to insert the keywords into the coding. What’s not easy is accessing the files to make your changes.

You’ll have to access your ftp server to edit your webpages in html format.

Check this post out here on how to do that.

Send a shout out to the Search Engines

Now that you have done all the onsite work it’s time to thump your chest and let the search engines know your website exists!

To get your site crawled (searched by the search engines) you need to submit your websites sitemap to the major search engines. A sitemap is list of your websites pages that are accessible to crawlers and users.

This is the easiest step of them all thankfully.

All you have to do it head to XML sitemaps.com for sitemap creation and submission. That’s it!

If you’re using WordPress they have a plugin for that called Google XML sitemaps. This plugin submits sitemaps to Google, Bing and Ask.com.

Since you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading! I’d like to ask you a couple of questions before you leave.

Do you have a better understanding of search engine optimization?

If not, what are you struggling with?

Since SEO is important to customer acquisition and retention I’ll be blogging about it often. The two main goals of this site are to showcase Meaningful Marketing strategies and to spread awareness on the latest online and offline marketing trends.

Google is changing how they rank websites. I keep up to date on these changes and will be showcasing ways to generate website traffic using SEO strategies.

Image courtesy Kalpen Hagen

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